Hyaluronan (HA) accumulation is associated with tumorigenesis and aggressive tumor behavior. In a new study, researchers Jun Gong, Michelle Guan, Haesoo Kim, Natalie Moshayedi, Sejal Mehta, Galen Cook-Wiens, Brent K. Larson, Jenny Zhou, Rishi Patel, Isaac Lapite, Veronica R. Placencio-Hickok, Richard Tuli, Ronald B. Natale, and Andrew E. Hendifar from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center investigated the biomarker potential of HA in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
“The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significance of HA as a potential biomarker in NSCLC. Specifically, we investigated the prognostic and predictive value of tumor HA levels in a large cohort of predominantly advanced-stage NSCLC patients.”
HA levels were scored using affinity histochemistry in 137 NSCLC samples stratified by HA score ≤10, 11–20, 21–30, and >30 with HA-high defined as ≥25% expression in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the tumor surface area. Overall survival (OS) and time to progression from initiation of taxane therapy (TTP) were compared using log-rank tests based on HA score.
Of 122 patients with recurrent/metastatic NSCLC, 93 had mean HA scores that were not significantly different across clinicopathologic variables. Frequency of HA-high tumors did not differ by histology (34/68 adenocarcinomas vs. 12/25 squamous tumors, Fisher’s p = 1.0000). Median OS for recurrent/metastatic adenocarcinoma was 35.5 months (95%, 23.6–50.3) vs. 17.9 months for squamous (95%, 12.7–37.0, log-rank test, p = 0.0165).
OS was not significantly different by HA quartiles, high or low (<25) HA score and tumor histology, and HA biopsy site (all p > 0.05). Median TTP (n = 98) significantly differed by HA quartile (2.8 months for HA score ≤10; 5.0 months for 11–20; 7.9 months for 21–30; 3.9 months for >30, p = 0.0265). Improved TTP trended in HA-high over HA-low tumors (n = 98, p = 0.0911).
“In this NSCLC cohort, tumor HA level represents a potential biomarker for TTP, which remains a cornerstone of NSCLC therapy. Further validation is warranted to identify the HA accumulation threshold associated with clinical benefit,” say the researchers.
The research was published in Oncotarget.
Jun Gong et al, Tumor hyaluronan as a novel biomarker in non-small cell lung cancer: A retrospective study, Oncotarget (2022). DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.28304
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